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|Chinese Antique Furniture|
Wood Care for Antique and Reproduction Furniture
Old wood has usually already reached its critical drying point unlike most new wood. Old wood continues to change, but with common sense this should not be a problem. If a repair is necessary at a later date it should involve only minor adjustments.
The joint at a floating panel may widen seasonally as the side board joint seam in a cupboard may shrink in dry weather. Often it will go back during a humid season.
Minor changes in the seam lines of antiques can be expected. As everyone experiences the same changes, they will not affect the value of your piece.
You should not dehumidify old pieces. This is like living constantly in central heating. You know what that does to your hair and skin and an old piece does not have an inner replenishing alternative.
If possible when moving abroad to a dry or centrally heated climate, put a humidifier on your heating system, and follow some simple care rules:
Do not place antiques in direct sun light
Do not expose furniture to rapid temperature changes
Use air conditioning with restraint.
Do not place furniture directly in front of or underneath the vents
Never dehumidify any real wood pieces.
Old pieces will show shrinkage but new pieces may have very dramatic changes.
Use Lemon Oil (not polish) once a week, especially during times when you have your air conditioning or heating systems on. You can purchase Parker & Bailey Lemon Oil or any other quality Lemon oil. If you are willing to go to further trouble, you can treat the underside and inside of your pieces with 3-parts turpentine and 1- part linseed oil twice a year. This will be an excellent conditioner for your antique.
On natural non-lacquered pieces, a good quality furniture wax will protect the exterior layer and the finish from drying. Wax once every 2-3 months. It will also speed up the development of a patina (that soft lustrous glow old pieces have). We recommend a Mylands or other high quality wax.
If you experience any wood shrinkage in floating panels it is advisable to leave the piece for at least one year to allow it to acclimatize fully before taking any remedial action. Often, the wood will naturally expand back during more humid seasons. If you require restoration at this point, please use a reputable Antique restorer.
Please note that Tibetan Furniture requires different care to Chinese Furniture.
The front painted area and sides of Tibetan pieces should never be waxed. Wiping them down with a damp, warm cloth is enough.
The tops of pieces however, can be waxed as often as needed (recommended 3-5 times a year).
Each piece of our
furniture is relentlessly polished to a fine finish. When placing objects
- in particular hard edged ones like flower pots or key chains - onto
the surface it is advisable to use cork felts or trays as cushions.
Use clean and dry
towel or soft brush to wipe away dirt and dust from the furniture regularly,
following the direction of the wood grain. Excessive dirt or grease
can be removed by a slightly damp towel, or one having been soaked with
mild and neutral detergent.
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